Holiday time!

Trip Start Jun 2008
Trip End Aug 2010

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Flag of Mauritania  ,
Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy early Chrstmas!
I must admit, it doesn't feel much like Christmas here, but that is about to change!  While it is cool by Mauritanian standards, it is not cold, and one could not find a pine tree or snow if his or her life depended on it.  However, Mom sent us a great little X-mas tree, which the girls set up in Aioun, and we are all meeting up in Nouakchott on the 25th, so we will have a nice little holiday.
Thanksgiving was a devil of a good time.  It seems as if everyone had a little something to contribute.  We had about 25 people for the celebration.  I was charged with cooking the birds and was happy to do so.  We marinated them in garlic, oil, mandarin juice and spices and while it was my first time cooking seven chickens over a charcoal pit, all my BBQ training seems to have paid off.  Between the lot of us, we had healthy portions of mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, squash bake, rolls, and a variety of pies (including apple and pecan, yeah!). Everyone retired with full bellies and smiles.
Upon our return to Awaynatt, we continued classes at the GMC and all has been going quite well.  The girls have shown an excellent propensity for learning English and our lessons on geography and health were all well received.  In addition, I have been teaching several of the teachers on the computers and Jackie has been doing the same with a few of the GMC mentors. 
We are both healthy and in high spirits, but we are definitely looking forward to the next few weeks, as we will get to do a bit of traveling and have the chance to take a little vacation!
After we all meet for Christmas, a good many of us have taken a few vacation days to relax and bring in the New Year in St. Louis, Senegal, the one time capital of Senegal and Mauritania.  Unfortunately, I have not the time to go into the history, but it is terribly interesting for any of you interested. A quick internet search will bring you up to date.  In any event, my plan is to find a hammock on the beach and drink beer, a luxury not afforded to PCVs in Mauritania, but one very much appreciated when the opportunity arises.  I am sure I will have a few pictures for you.
With that said, happy holidays to you all.  I should have some good stories for you when I get back to a computer.
Check out the photos.  There are a few from thanksgiving, a few of our Xmas tree and a few from Awaynatt and Aioun.
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